Kenneth's Story

Healing care, with a personal touch

Kenneth Keith, 62, has battled diverticulitis for some time. On March 30, he underwent scheduled surgery to repair the damage.

Days later, Kenneth experienced several complications including a looped bowel and abdominal abscess. He required additional surgery, pressurized dressings and bowel rest. It took almost a month for him to stabilize. When he did, doctors recommended Select Specialty Hospital – Johnstown for additional healing and recovery time.

“The other hospital said this was the best place for me to go to get home, so that’s why I came to Select,” he said.

Kenneth arrived eager to recuperate and get home to his wife, Joyce and their two dogs. He also planned to return to his job as a welder.

A physician-led team, including nurses and therapists, created a plan to help Kenneth meet his goals.

Respiratory therapists monitored his chest tube, which drained fluid away from his lungs. They stepped him through breathing exercises to increase stamina.

Wound care nurses monitored and changed Kenneth’s dressings. They applied ointments and repositioned him to avoid further skin breakdown.

Physical and occupational therapists put Kenneth through our mobility program. They encouraged him to sit up, roll in bed and move his arms and legs, careful to avoid aggravating his wound sites.

As his incisions healed, Kenneth could tolerate more activity. His chest tube was removed and Kenneth began practicing standing and taking a few steps with a walker.

“The team’s great here,” Kenneth said. “They push you because they know you can do it. I was very excited to get in the shower or go to the gym for therapy. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and knew I would be able to go home.”

Several weeks into his stay, Kenneth celebrated a birthday. Though in-person visits were restricted due to the coronavirus, his family sent balloons to lift his spirits. The staff gave him plenty of well wishes throughout the day.

Our team also ensured Joyce got twice-daily updates on Kenneth’s condition with frequent video chats.

“They kept me updated and joked with me on the phone to brighten my day,” Joyce said.

It took 45 days, but Kenneth’s wound healed fully. Joyce, who underwent family education sessions through video calls, was prepared to help him finish recuperating at home.

Kenneth departed May 9 for several more weeks of rest at home. He looks forward to a pizza and beer date night with Joyce and taking his dogs for a walk.